The Ontario government is gearing up to introduce new workplace legislation on Friday afternoon that, if passed, would eventually turn every weekend into a long weekend for millions of people in the province.
A source within Queen’s Park has confirmed that phase two of the PC government’s recently-introduced Working for Workers Act will be unveiled today, bringing forth a whole host of new protections for employees of Ontario businesses.
Among those protections is a first-of-its kind mandate for non-essential workplaces with more than 25 employees: The mandate to cap every work week at four days, max.
The concept of a four-day work week, in which employees work the same number of hours they do usually, but over four days as opposed to five, has been gaining steam in recent years among startups, corporations and even government bodies.
Governments in Spain, Scotland and even rural Ontario are all either considering, or actively running trials of four-day-long work weeks, as are private companies including Unilever in New Zealand and the U.S. fintech startup Bolt.
Iceland began studying the concept all the way back in 2015 with about 2,500 workers participating — all of them paid the same amount of money for working their 40 hours over four days.
Here in Toronto, we’ve now seen dozens of businesses adopt this organizational model with great success, reporting improved job satisfaction, productivity and retention among employees.
And these local success stories are but a few of many, many global case studies supporting the concept of a standardized four-day work week.
As things continue to open up (I hope) after two years of lockdowns, Canadians are eager to reshape the future of work.
Three-day-long weekends are undoubtedly enticing for underslept, overworked and desperately stressed-out Ontario residents — who, not-so-coincidentally, will be heading to the polls this June for a provincial election.
What better way to gain votes than by promising long weekends forever? This is, in fact, part of the Ontario Liberal Party’s platform right now.
It would appear as though Ford is following suit — the proposed legislation dictates that standard four day-workweeks would begin in January of 2023.